Monday, August 31, 2009

Puppies Are SOOO Cute!

This little 5 week old pup is too cute for words!

The puppy uses a stair for a pillow.

Watch the pooped pup.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

No Dog Left Behind

I picked up the 2009 September/October addition of the American Automobile Association (AAA) magazine to find an article about Northwest places for you and your dog.

The place that came highly rated was Harrison House Suites in Friday Harbor because the owners make dog biscuits in eight flavors. Also there is a Downtown Dog's Bow Wow Bus for field trips to local dog hot spots.

At the Lake Chelan Winery, dogs can sit on the tasting porch.

The Dining Dog Cafe and Bakery in Edmonds is a restaurant for dogs serving everything from cocktails to desserts.

The article lists several parks, hikes, and places to stay in Washington.

In addition, two books were hightly recommended: The Dog Lover's Companion to the Pacific Northwest by Val Mallinson; Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook.

Let's go, Ebony!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Prebiotics - New Trend in Dog Food

Have you heard of "Prebiotics"?

Prebiotics are non-digestible ingredients in food that work to stimulate the growth of good bacteria. The idea is to maximize the good bacteria and minimize the bad bacteria.

Prebiotics have demonstrated positive effects on mineral absorption, including calcium, immune system function and intestinal regularity. In humans, prebiotics have even demonstrated a reduction in the risk for colon cancer and irritable bowel disorders such as Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Prebiotics help maintain the right balance between good and bad bacteria to aid digestion and absorption of nutrients and encourage strong defenses with a healthy immune system.

Encouraging good digestive tract health through good nutrition can strengthen the dog's immune system, which strengthens his defenses against harmful diseases. Promoting digestive health encourages overall health.

Some dog foods on the market contain prebiotics; check out ingredients next time you by dog food. I will let you know how Ebony likes dog food with prebiotics. But then again, Ebony likes most food!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


One thing no creature on this Earth can live without: WATER!

On average, our pets must be fed water at least 3 times a day - usually at least 2mL for every pound he weighs or at least 2.5 times the amount of daily food he consumes. When your pets eat dry food, they need even more water. And of course you know they prefer cold, fresh water - usually running from the faucet.

Now I'm not saying to turn all our faucets and tubs into Rover's drinking bowl. But what I am saying is that it is very important that we make sure our dogs drink enough water every single day to stay healthy.

And DO NOT forget about yourself! WATER is Mother Nature's medicine.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dog Park Mistake

Dog Parks are a fun place not only for dogs but also for people. Great friendships can be made as well as many laughs shared.

Mistake number one...........bringing dog treats to the dog park.

Very similar to feeding ducks or birds at the park!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Walking Multiple Dogs

What do you do when you run out of hands to walk several dogs?

Abbink-Burgers of the Netherlands came up with a great idea.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Golden Retrievers

If you have or have had a Golden Retriever you can probably relate to the classic "style" of the breed.

Besides their "goofy" nature, proud prance with objects in their mouth, and their love of people, they are also very photogenic. Wouldn't you agree?


Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Gang

Sometimes dog photos amaze me.

How did they get these dogs to pose?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Walking The Dog Pack

When I go skating with Ebony at my side, people tend to make comments........usually about my weird skates, my method of walking my dog, or my well-trained dog.

I wonder what kind of comments Trudy Abad of Quitman, Arizona receives when he takes his dog pack for a walk?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dogs and Relationships

Relationship expert, April Masini, and Stanley Coren, Ph.D., a psychologist and author of The Intelligence of Dogs (Free Press), enlightens us on the traits of a man and his best friend.

The American Kennel Club recognizes twenty-eight groups of dogs (one is miscellaneous), but not all breeds may be a suitable match for you, nor your pick of a dog man.

Read this article to discover how to make a dog-person love connection that will make you both happy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How Does He Do It?

Do you ever wonder how Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, "rehabilitates" dogs?

Cesar Millan

Cesar says, "I believe there are two main things that make me successful in rehabilitation. First, I don't know anything about the problem, so I don't come in with any preconceived ideas. I don't know anything about the past. I'm just meeting the dog as who he is at that moment. Second, I look to the environment to see what can help me to help him. Most of the time, it is the environment and the humans that empower the dog. The dog becomes territorial, and the dog becomes dominant."

He then asks himself, "What do I need to do to help this dog achieve a calm-submissive state?"

"For the most part, the dog is not lacking affection. These owners love their dogs very much. Usually, it's exercise or discipline that is missing. In what order? It depends. If I'm dealing with an aggressive or territorial case, the dog needs discipline. If I'm dealing with a hyper or nervous dog, it's exercise. Exercise builds self-esteem and creates trust. Psychological challenges create respect."

Cesar believes that it's not an intellectual process. He says, "It's about instinct and intuition. I am a big believer that God will show me the way and that the dog will tell me what I need to do."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Achieving Balance

Dogs have found themselves in an odd predicament by living with humans. In the wild, dogs don’t need humans to achieve balance. They have a pack leader, work for food, and travel with the pack. But when we bring them into our world, we need to help them achieve balance by fulfilling their needs as nature intended them to be.

Dogs are animals, and they respond to calm-assertive leadership—not emotional arguments or negotiations. If you have a dog in your life, it is important to understand how to allow him/her to live in a balanced way and achieve a healthy state of mind.

Ceasar Millan's, the Dog Whisperer, fulfillment formula is exercise, then discipline, and finally, affection. As the human pack leader, he believes you must set rules, boundaries, and limitations and always project a calm-assertive energy.

According to Ceasar when you fulfill your dog on a primal level as nature intended, you will feel in tune with your dog and connect with your dog in a deeper way. Put your dog's needs first, and take responsibility for our dog's state of mind. Only then will you experience all the love your dog has to give!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Dog Picks Blackberries

Who said dogs do not see color?

Apparently Ebony, my dog, knows the ripe blackberries from those not ripe.

This evening a friend and I with our dogs walked the Chehalis Western Trail in Olympia, Washington, with the goal to bring home blackberries. We scored big time!

I sometimes do not know best when to stop eating the blackberries. Ebony hung in there with the champs!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Amber Alert for Pets

I came across this pet identification tag that does even more than having your pet microchiped. It instantly alerts shelters within 50 miles of your pet’s last known location. It’s like an Amber Alert for pets.

The tag is engraved with a unique serial number that is tied to a secure personalized online profile that can be easily accessed anywhere at any time through your account.

Your pet’s online profile includes:

your pet’s description
health information
photos or videos
contact information for multiple emergency contacts

If your pet is lost, you call the toll-free hotline or logon to where a click of the mouse sends a lost pet bulletin complete with your pet’s photo and description to animal shelters within 50 miles of your pet’s last known location. Bulletins are also sent to more than a dozen lost pet websites.

Anyone who finds your pet can call the toll-free number or visit the website and use the unique serial number on your pet’s ID tag to access the necessary information to return your pet to you. gives you LIVE emergency support for your lost pet 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That means they’re always there for you when you need them to help bring your lost pet home safely. The service is like having a virtual search party at your fingertips that is available to you at any time, from any location.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Pool Ball

I might be bias to black labs, but I believe they are very smart.

This black lab teases his golden lab buddy in a game of pool ball.

You must see this game for yourself!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

House Plants Harmful to Dogs

Yesterday I blogged about dogs and garden plants that are safe to grow around pets.

Here are 20 of the most popular houseplants and their levels of toxicity.

Philodendron. Mildly toxic. Chewing or ingesting can result in irritation of the mouth and throat. Drooling and vomiting may also occur.

Boston Fern. Non-toxic

African Violet. Non-toxic

Ficus. Mildly toxic. Contact with the plant can result in skin irritation. Chewing or ingestion can result in vomiting and diarrhea.

Mother-in-Laws Tongue (Snake Plant). Mildly toxic. Chewing or ingestion can result in vomiting and diarrhea.

Schefflera. Mildly toxic. Chewing on or ingesting can result in irritation of the mouth and throat. Drooling and vomiting may also occur.

Croton. Mildly toxic. Chewing or ingestion can result in vomiting and diarrhea.

Jade. Mildly toxic. Chewing or ingestion can result in vomiting, depression and staggering.

Aloe Vera. Mildly toxic. Chewing or ingestion can result in vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite or muscle tremors.

Dieffenbachia. Mildly toxic. Chewing or ingesting can result in irritation of the mouth and throat. Drooling and vomiting may also occur.

Poinsettia. Mildly toxic. Chewing or ingesting can result in irritation of the mouth and throat. Drooling and vomiting may also occur. Generally over-rated as a toxic plant. Large amounts of the plant need to be ingested for even mild toxic signs to develop.

Pothos. Mildly toxic. Chewing or ingesting can result in irritation of the mouth and throat. Drooling and vomiting may also occur.

Corn Plant (Draceana). Mildly toxic. Chewing or ingestion can result in vomiting, drooling and staggering.

Spider Plant. Non-toxic. Do not confuse spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) with the toxic spider lily (Crinum species or Hymenocallis species).

Ivy. Moderately toxic. Chewing or ingestion can result in vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, breathing difficulty, fever or muscle weakness.

Norfolk Pine. Moderately toxic. Chewing or ingestion can result in vomiting, depression, pale gums and low body temperature.

Palm (Neanthebella). Non-toxic.

Chinese Evergreen (Algaonema). Mildly toxic. Chewing on or ingesting can result in irritation of the mouth and throat. Drooling and vomiting may occur.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum). Mildly toxic. Chewing on or ingesting can result in irritation of the mouth and throat. Drooling and vomiting may also occur.

Antherium. Mildly toxic. Chewing on or ingesting can result in irritation of the mouth and throat. Drooling and vomiting may also occur.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Plant a Dog-Safe Garden

Plants and flowers are nature's attention getters. Their fragrance, appearance, and cool shade they create are natural attractants for you and your pet. Curiosity often leads pets to consume the flowers and foliage of ornamental plants, which can produce irritating and sometimes life threatening side effects.

When planning your garden, select plants that are non-toxic if touched or consumed.

Plants for a Sunny Location

If the location of your garden gives you 4 or more hours of direct sunlight a day, you have a long list of annuals and perennials from which to choose. Safe choices for sunny locations include:

Zinnia (Zinnia sp.)
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum sp.)
Cosmos (Cosmos sp.)
Calendula (Callendula sp.)
Petunia (Petunia sp.)

Bee Balm (Monarda sp.)
Phlox (Phlox sp.)
Roses (Rose sp.)
Catmint/catnip (Nepeta sp.)
Coneflowers (Echinacea purpura)

Plants for Partial Sun

If your garden receives less than 4 hours of direct sunlight a day, the following list of non-toxic annuals and perennials requires less sunlight.

Primrose(Primula sp.)
Butterfly flower(Schianthus sp.)
Spider flower (Cleome sp.)
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum sp.)

Columbine(Aquilegia sp.)
Coral Bells (Heuchera sp.)
Turf Lilly (Liriope sp.)
Goat's Beard (Aruncus dioicus)

Shade Gardens

A shade garden receives little to no direct sunlight, although the sun may filter through the trees for dappled light. Plant selection for these areas may include the following:

Begonia (Begonia sp.)
Impatiens (Impatiens sp.)
New Guinea Impatiens
Violet (Viola sp.)
Coleus (Coleus sp.)

Hosta (Hosta sp.)
Bugbane (Cimifuga racemosa)
Yellow Corydalis (Corydalis lutea)
Astilbe (Astilbe sp.)
Queen of the Meadow (Filipendula ulmaria)

The 10 Least Wanted

The following is a list of plants that is best to avoid altogether due to their toxic nature. It is not a comprehensive list, if you are considering any plant of which you are unsure; consult your local plant nursery.

Castor bean (Ricinus communis)
Oleander (Nerium oleander)
Morning Glory (Ipomea sp.)
Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata)
Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum)
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
Nightshade (Atropa belladonna)
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
Precatory Beans (Arbus precatorius)
Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sammamish River Trail

Sammamish River Trail is King’s County’s popular cycling, jogging, walking, skating and equestrian path. The trail runs 10.9 miles along the Sammamish River and offers extraordinary views of the river, Sammamish River Valley, Cascade foothills and Mt. Rainier.

It was a busy day Sunday when my son and I went skating with our dogs.

Brian with Brinkley & Ginger

Joanne & Ebony

The trail is used as a corridor between suburban cities and Seattle. The beautiful trail winds through Sammish River Park, Woodinville’s wineries and breweries, Sixty Acres Park, and connects to the Power Line and Bear Creek Trails.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Swinging Dog

Most dogs get excited when you mention the word "walk," right?

Sara gets excited when she hears the work "park" because she gets to go on the swings.

Watch Sara swing....

She has been a swinger for 4 years

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dog Toys

Dog toys aren't a "luxury." They're vital to your dog's physical and emotional health. They help him burn off excess energy and keep his mind sharp. They keep him from becoming bored or depressed. They even help relieve his separation anxiety.

There are toys to chew, toys to fetch, toys to cuddle and toys to tug. There are toys that challenge your dog's creativity and exercise his mind. But with so many different kinds of toys to choose from, how will you know which toy is right for your dog?

First, it's got to hold his interest. Otherwise it will end up lying around the house with all those other toys he doesn't play with. It's also got to be durability. If a toy isn't tough enough to withstand your dog's active play, he'll quickly destroy it. In either case, that toy ends up being nothing more than a waste of your good money.

So, with so many dog toys on the market today, how do you find the right toy for your dog?

First of all, don't let all those options overwhelm you. You can easily narrow down the playing field by asking yourself three simple questions:

1. Will this toy entertain my dog?
2. Will it hold up to my dog's active play?
3. Is this toy safe?

If you can answer "yes" to all three of these questions, you've got a winner.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Does Your Dog Like to Roll in Yucky Stuff?

Why on earth do dogs enjoy doing this?

The answer is simple: it's an instinct.

If your dog could talk, he probably wouldn't be able to tell you exactly why he does it, either. No one is sure what the attraction is, but there are three working hypotheses.

One is that dogs are attempting to mask their own scent. This would be a holdover from their origins as wolves. Masking their scent may help wolves sneak up on prey without alerting them by way of smell.

A second theory is that rolling in feces or a dead animal's remains is a way for a dog to communicate that he's found something interesting. The dog (or wolf) then transports that smell back to his family (his pack) in order to advertise his discovery.

A third theory comes from the book, The Truth About Dogs, by Stephen Budiansky. It is possible, Budiansky writes, that we've gotten it backwards. The dog may not be trying to absorb the scent; instead he may be trying to impart his own scent onto the object of his interest, for the same reason that a dog may urinate on a tree. The purpose may be no more than to leave a calling card - to overmark another scent.

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cesar's Dream

Upon approaching his 40th birthday this month, Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, spoke about his dream in this month's newsletter.

I thought it was thoughtful and wanted to share it with you.

Cesar says, "I have a dream that one day every human who has a dog in their family will learn to master the walk. To me, the walk is the foundation for the human-canine relationship and crucial to establishing pack leadership. It's one of the most powerful tools we have for bonding with our dogs.

Many of you have written in to ask what you can do for my birthday. I thought it over and what I would love is for people to master the walk with their dogs - or to start the process - and to influence others to do so as well. That would honor the dog guy in me. And I hope you will send photos of you with your pack behind you or by your side. I'd love to see them!"

His website:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tips For Thunderstorms

A thunderstorm can be a nightmare for dogs that fear loud noises. Thunderstorms can strike with very little warning, at any time of day, and last for hours. The shock from a sudden clap of thunder can be devastating. So how can your fearful dog overcome his anxiety when the weather turns against you?

Here are some tips from Cesar Millan, Dog Whisperer:

Know the Signs - Fear can progress quickly to phobia, and once the problem has escalated, it may become significantly more difficult to rehabilitate. Some symptoms of general fear may include:

Uncontrollable urination
Moderate-to-severe shaking and shivering
Submissive posture (head down, ears lowered, tail tucked)
Pacing back and forth
Attempts to hide

Don't feel sorry! - When a small child is fearful, a soothing voice can reassure them that nothing in a loud sound can hurt them and that it will all be over soon. For a dog, a soothing voice is a reinforcement of his current behavior. By coddling your dog when it is frightened, you are saying that you approve of and encourage this fearful behavior. Instead, remain calm and assertive, and ignore the behavior as best you can.

Exercise! - The most crucial part of the fulfillment formula is also both the most versatile and the most often overlooked! Exercise drains your dog's energy and leaves him relaxed. As the pack leader, you should already have a rigorous walking routine established, but if you know that thunderstorms are common during certain approaching seasons, start upping the ante! A thoroughly engaging workout can leave even the most terrified dog too sleepy to concern himself with loud noises. Be sure to consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog's exercise routine.

Make positive associations! - Thunder isn't inherently dangerous, but your dog doesn't know that. You can help him learn by associating the sound of thunder with positive experiences. Find a recording of thunder, and play it back for your dog in the background while engaging him in some enjoyable activity, like a game, receiving treats, or the walk. Begin at a low volume, and gradually increase it as you work. Be patient! This technique may take time and dedication to be successful.

Try ear-plugs! - While you are working with your dog to create positive associations, it may help to soften the effects of loud thunderstorms by using canine-safe earplugs to cut the decibel level. Consult your veterinarian for tips and brand recommendations before purchasing and using earplugs.